Metallurgy Research Centre

International Projects and Collaborations

RIB-ON PROJECT (2018-2019)

The overall aim of the RIB-ON “Innovative Stamping Die for Aluminium Ribs Hot Stamping” project is to develop and manufacture an innovative stamping die based on a modular/reconfigurable and low-cost approach to successfully produce different outer external wing rib models using new high performance aluminium alloys and tailored die steel and coating solutions. The die will serve to manufacture different shape/length aluminium ribs of FTB2 demonstrator ready to fly.

More information about Rib-On >>

HIPERTURB Project (2017-2020)

The HIPERTURB project: "Development of investment casting process of nickel superalloys with enhanced weldability" is a H2020-JTI-CleanSky2 project. The Inconel 718 Superalloy is a nickel-based alloy that combines a series of excellent properties of high mechanical strength, fatigue, creep and good resistance to corrosion, allowing it to be used for a wide variety of applications. Its good weldability is also worth to be emphasized. Nowadays it is widely used in the aeronautical sector, especially, in turbine components, however, its use is limited to 650ºC. Above this temperature microstructural instabilities that cause a very significant descent of its properties are produced. The project is aimed at searching an improved alloy in terms of weldability and that can be used at temperatures above 650ºC. To achieve that, the strategies put in practice by project consortium will be aimed at modifying the chemical composition of the alloy, improving the smelting process (forms of cooling, mould...), new thermal treatments, etc.

LIFE ECO-SANDFILL project (2016-2019)

This European project financed through the LIFE 15program is formed by a consortium of Basque companies (Fundiciones del Estanda S.A., Ondarlan S.L.), two technology centres (Gaiker-Ik4 and Ik4-Azterlan) and the company Acciona Infraestructura.
The project is aimed at the valorisation of smelting sands in different construction applications, as well as in the smelting process in substitution to the virgin sand, with the final objective of advancing towards the zero dumping of the bulkiest residue of the Casting. /p>

RESLAG Project (2015-2019)

RESLAG "Turning waste from steel industry into a valuable low cost feedestock for energy" is a European project, financed by the H2020- WASTE (2014) program and formed by a consortium of 19 participants from seven European countries and Morocco. The main objective of RESLAG is to valorise and reuse the black slags of steelworks in 4 innovative applications: 1) Extraction of high value non-ferrous metals, 2) thermal energy storage material for heat recovery applications in Industrial sectors, 3) thermal energy storage material for solar energy concentration plants and 4) feedstock for the manufacture of refractory materials. The demonstration of each one of the applications is carried out through the design and construction of demonstrators at pilot level.

SUSPIRE Project (2015-2018)

This is a European H2020-SPIRE project "sustainable Production of industrial recovered energy using energy dissipative and storage Technologies" which aims to provide an integral solution to the recovery of residual heat in a lost wax industrial plant which produces components for the aeronautical sector. To achieve this, solutions based on heat exchangers that incorporate phase change materials (PCMs) and heat exchange liquids that are resistant to high temperatures (HTFs) will be developed. The recovered energy is going to be used at three levels: 1) existing needs in the plant, 2) by third parties (more specifically a sports centre) and 3) it will accumulate in the ground for later use according to the climatic conditions. This system of heat recovery will also be integrated in the productive system of the company through a new management system based on predictive control models that ensure the highest productivity and, in turn, the greatest possible energy recovery.

OCEANIC Project (2015-2018)

This is a OCEANERANET-2014 project, emerged to respond to the concurrence of three factors in the performance and service life of the WECs (Wave Energy Converters): corrosion, fouling and proximity to the coast.
The phenomena of corrosion and fouling combined cause an accelerated deterioration of the skin pieces of any submerged machine and constitute, therefore, a serious problem that affects the durability of any subsea installation. Traditional anti-fouling solutions lay their effectiveness in the use of high toxicity elements, such as copper, while anticorrosion solutions are articulated around the use of the "connect to protect" principle, based on cathodic protection mechanisms. However, these two strategies are not applicable in cases where one of the following factors is involved:
- High strength steels. The application of printed currents causes unacceptable fragilization phenomena.
- Moving components. Drag phenomena reduce ion transport significantly by limiting corrosion protection.
- Coastal waters. Both for environmental responsibility and for the regulations in force, the use of copper near the coast must be eliminated.
To respond to this situation for which there is currently no environmentally responsible and economically competitive solution, the Oceanic consortium proposes to develop a solution that integrates anti-corrosion and antifouling coatings in a same component. Therefore products with low-emission anti-corrosion-antifouling coatings will be developed.

HARDALU Project (2015-2017)

The HARDALU project "Fluidised Bed Heat Treatment Furnace for HPDC engine blocks and other transport components offering new opportunities for lightweight, cost competitiveness and energy saving" is a H2020-SME Instrument project, led by Hormesa and with a high contribution by IK4-Azterlan. These are main objectives of the HARDALU project:
- To enable the application of T6/T7 thermal treatments to conventional HPDC parts, particularly to block motor blocks - To drastically reduce the time of conventional treatments T6/T7
- To settle optimal treatments in fluidized bed for main automotive components
- To exploit the high heat transfer associated to fluidized bed
Improvements in mechanical properties can allow new applications and re-design of parts to use less metal and to continue achieving the mechanical requirements.

ACCOMIN Project (2014-2016)

The Accomin project: "Development of actuator components made by alternative metal injection molding (MIM) process" is a FP7-JTI-CleanSky project. The objective of the project has been to demonstrate that some components of small size and complex geometry that are part of the actuators of aircraft’s flight control system can be manufactured using MIM Manufacturing technology (Metal Injection moulding).
The MIM allows to manufacture complex parts in a reduced time compared with the machining, which is the traditional method of manufacture of these components, and it is a technology of manufacture used in sectors like the automotive, medical and military, but however not It is integrated in the aeronautical industry.
The project, currently successfully completed, has identified and manufactured through the MIM manufacturing process 4 actuators components which have been validated technically and economically.

SENTRY Project (2014-2015)

The SENTRY project: "Sustainable Dismantling and Recycling of Metallic Airstructures" is a European FP7-JTI-CleanSky project. The objective of the project was to carry out a differentiated recycling of the alloys with which the panels integrated in the fuselage of the aircraft are manufactured, to ensure that the materials used are not diverted to products of lower added value and can be re-incorporated into the original application. Nowadays, although the panels are composed of different materials, the recycling process is done jointly. This means that the reuse of the raw materials is not completely efficient.
The initiative has the participation of three technology centres integrated into the IK4Alliance AZTERLAN, GAIKER, and LORTEK. IK4-Azterlan brings its expertise in the field of aluminum metallurgy applied to recycling. World-leading companies such as Dassault Aviation (French aeronautic company) and IAI (Israel), the Constellium (French aluminum metallurgical company) and Elsa (Dutch), specialist in aircraft recycling at their end of their service life, have an important role in the project.


The project SOUNDCAST - Vacuum-assisted high pressure die castings with reduced porosity at low cost is a project in the frame of the programme Research for the Benefit of SMEs (FP7-SME-2012-1, N° 315506). In this project an optimum solution for the reduction of porosity in aluminum high pressure die castings will be developed by adaption of a vacuum system at a very competitive price. The development of an alloy of recycled aluminum presenting improved mechanical properties reduces significantly the cost of the raw material and extends the die life, while the castings present an excellent ductility and weldability.


The project IPRO - Intelligent Foundry Business Process is financed by the programme EUROSTARS. The objective of the project is to provide the foundry enterprises with an integral process control system, which allows after capturing all the variables involved in the manufacturing of a part to determine the optimum parameters of each area of the production process in order to avoid the appearance of defects.


The project ENEPRO - New control system of the energy consumptions in the foundry is a project financed by the European programme MANUNET (ERA-NET), whose main objective is the development of a system for the optimization of the energy consumptions during the production process for the foundry sector.

  • D. M. Stefanescu • Ohio University (EEUU)
  • J. Lacaze • Toulouse University (France)
  • D. Hartman • Kempten University (Germany)
  • M. Garat • Former Project Manager at Rio Tinto-Alcan (France)
  • P. R. Roland • Former Vice-President of Technology at Vestas (Norway)

Ramón Suarez
Metallurgy Processes R&D Director

Susana Méndez
Metallurgy Processes R&D Coordinator

Aitor Loizaga
Industry and Foundry Projects

Fernando Santos
Institutional Projects

Jon Garay
Steel research area

Enara Mardaras
Corrosion research area

Asier Bakedano
Aluminium research area

Lucía Unamunzaga
Evironment research area

Garikoitz Artola
Forming research area

Argoitz Zabala
Artificial Intelligence research area

Jose Manuel Gutiérrez
Calculus Center